MIKKEL LESPIERRE EDGES NOEL MURPHY IN ACTION-PACKED MAIN EVENT ON BROADWAY BOXING AT B.B. KING BLUES CLUB & GRILL, NEW YORK, NY
In front of a large cheering section, the popular Jude “King Zar” Franklin, 128 lbs., took on Italian Floriano Pagliara, 129.6 lbs., in a battle of Brooklyn. The contest began with wild exchanges, though Franklin was the more accurate puncher. Backing Pagliara into the ropes, Franklin planted a right hook to the body followed by an overhand right upstairs to drop his fellow Brooklynite just one minute into the bout. Trained by Elmo Serrano out of Gleason’s Gym, Franklin kept up the pressure, digging shots to the body. A game Pagliara tried to fire back in round two, but that only left himself open for counters. Franklin landed a straight right that decked Pagliara a second time, resulting in a TKO stoppage at 1:31 of the second stanza. Franklin’s record now stands at 7-0 (6 KOs), while Pagliara fell to 16-8-2 (7 KOs).
Making his DBE debut, Ukrainian heavyweight prospect Oleksandr “Sasha” Teslenko, 220 lbs., of Toronto, Canada, patiently stalked Keenan Hickman, 269.2 lbs., of Baton Rouge, LA, from the outset, landing stiff jabs to the midsection before launching powerful straight rights. One straight right wobbled Hickman near the end of round one. The same punch dropped Hickman in the second. Though he arose, Hickman endured another 20 seconds of punishment before the referee halted the bout at the 1:09 mark. Hickman’s ledger dipped to 6-3-1 (2 KOs). The 6’5″ 25-year-old Teslenko, born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, improved to 12-0 (10 KOs). Teslenko, now managed by Gary Freedman, took up boxing at age eight at the behest of his father. As an amateur, Teslenko became a three-time Ukrainian National champion while accumulating an impressive 224-23 record. During this time, Teslenko also earned a degree in Marketing from the University of Chernivtsi and served in the Ukrainian Army alongside DBE stablemate Ivan Golub.
Southpaw Jonathan Arroyo, 146 lbs., of Patchogue, Long Island, NY, improved to 2-0 (1 KOs) with a second-round stoppage of Andrea Crepaldi, 142.2 lbs., of Manhattan, NY, who was making his pro debut. Arroyo used his height and reach advantages to keep Crepaldi at the end of his power shots, landing a series of hooks to stagger his foe and force a stoppage at the 2:59 mark of round two.